Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tot Talk Tuesday

Judah, on ice cream:

"Mama, pease Ah havinuver bite in mah mouf?"

Judah, on fish, pork and beef;

"Pease Ah have some more chickin?"

I'm with Niecey, I gotta get a notebook, this stuff just doesn't stick in my head! But for now I'm gonna go check out all the other cute stuff kids are saying!

Friday, June 26, 2009

A super-fun new thing!

I have MADE something again! And you get to hear all about how I made it! Lucky you!!

I found this tutorial during a late-night web-surfing session some little while ago and recently pulled it out of the black hole that is my bookmarks folder and dusted it off and gave it a try. It was fantastic! I took this:


An old shirt of mine from high school (yes I know, should have tossed it out years ago, buit what can I say? I like the fabric...)

And turned it into this:


A little wrinkled from lots of wear in the last two days :)

I modified the sleeves from the original tutorial because I wanted to keep all this delicious edging:


You can go here to find that modification.

Isn't it cool how the front


Becomes the back?


Let me tell you, coming from someone who loves buttons and hates to make buttonholes, this trick will make your life sooo much easier! And look! All that cute edging is there with no effort on my part! Is that cool or what??

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Continuing the conversation

I really enjoyed the discussion in the comments on this post about Musical Geniuses. Thank you all so much for joining in and sharing your points of view. I wanted to revisit the topic because over the time since then I've continued to ponder the issue. I've mulled over the comments and delved deeper into the reasons behind my stated point of view. I've begun to realize a change in my reasoning-- or perhaps a clarification...

One thing that stood out to me in what many of you said was a reference to God's influence in a person's Talents. Something I hadn't really plugged into my own reasoning on the subject. Many of you also applied the idea of Prodigy to other areas-- not just music, but art, writing, speaking, etc. This also I hadn't considered before. I had been thinking of the area of music exclusively.

So after adding these two ideas into the pot brewing in my mind, and also doing some "soul-searching" about where my ideas were coming from, what was the motivation behind my aversion to the term, "Prodigy", I came up with a few new things for your consideration.

First of all, my motivation. While I've never been labeled as an actual Prodigy (although some of my siblings (who shall remain nameless) have been at times), all my life I've stood out as Different from my peers. Or perhaps I should say, a select group of myself and some close friends have stood out as Different from our other peers. We were home-schooled, avid readers, highly articulate, motivated in drama and music, practiced in sewing and other home-crafts, lovers of dance and intellectual conversation. We were Creative. We were Artistic. We were Musical. We were Intellectuals. Those were the labels that set us apart from "Normal Kids". I know that sounds arrogant. I was indeed arrogant. Not consciously. I simply accepted the labels that were applied to me and assumed that there was something slightly better about me (you have no idea how embarrassing that is to write down in black and white).

As I got older, and as I moved outside my small circle of local friends and began to encounter people with talents different than mine I realized something about myself. I was no better than the next guy. Not really. There was nothing so special about Me, Myself, that set me apart from others as Better. Different, yes, unique in the eyes of the Lord, yes, but not Better. I began to look back on my teenage self with shame. And I began to reject the labels; Musical, Artistic, Creative and Intellectual. It positively makes my skin curl up when someone calls me one of those things. Not to be ungracious, it's just the context. You know? It reminds me of my arrogance.

So here's where the Lord comes into my new way of thinking about this. I don't think He made me intrinsically different from anyone else when it comes to my abilities in music, art and general creativity. He simply gave me a desire and a joy that is only fulfilled when I'm actively involved in one of those areas. It's not that I'm such a great and talented seamstress, I just DO it. All the time. Because I love it. My voice is physically not that much different than yours, it's just that I have a desire to develop my voice, to train it and work with it-- singing to the best of my ability brings me joy and I'm not satisfied with just singing, I want to sing better and better and louder and higher and stronger. I can't stand not to create things of beauty, so I'm driven to explore new ways of doing that. I try out decoupage and smocking and embroidery, I wall paper my dining room and research cool ways to paint my walls, I buy fabric almost compulsively.

I think every human is created in the Image of God and that this creative drive is expressed in different ways in different people, but it's all basically the same thing, in that it is an expression of the Image of God in man. So therefore, the five-year-old Musical Prodigy is no greater a person than the mother with four children who fosters five more because her creative-drive-expression-of-the-Image-of-God thing expresses itself in her mothering. Or the mom who spends all her spare time volunteering with underprivileged kids, or the guy who invents a new coding language, or the teacher inventing new ways to explain Einstein's theory of relativity.

So the reason that I reject the label "Prodigy" is that it implies something Better about that person than the average guy. What I now think about that person labeled a Prodigy, is that God has created him or her in such a way that they have a drive, a desire, a hunger and thirst in their particular area. That's what sets them apart. Not a Betterness, but a stronger Desire.

I still think that environment plays a crucial role in this whole thing, but I'm now seeing it as secondary to this Desire.

Whatcha think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

I Heart Faces: All About Boys

Many of you have seen this picture before and might have guessed I'd be submitting it for boys week at I Heart Faces. It's by far my favorite of all the shots I have of Judah. It was taken during a hot afternoon's "Hose-off Time" with Lil and Noah attending. HE got the biggest kick out of spraying water on his head...


Head on over to I Heart Faces and check out all the other cuties posted today!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I may be a wee tad bit fickle

I know I was just claiming a new BFF the other day, but now.... I dunno... This lovely lady and her Etsy Shop, Blog and Playlist may be my very newest, bestest Internet BFF. Go ahead. Go check it out. There's nothing to see here today anyways....

I've been un-blogspired (oo look! I just made up another word!) around here these days. I need some quiet time in a cafe with wi-fi to recharge the muse. That's what we do to muses in the digital age. We recharge them. Bronte and Austen probably fed their muses with food celestial, but we recharge ours with caffeine and wi-fi. At least I do.

But today, instead of a quiet cafe and wi-fi, I have bored children and a messy house. The messy house is my fault, but the bored children is totally J's fault. He's at "guy's weekend" in Manassas for the weekend. Every five minutes I have to answer the following questions:

"Where's Daddy?"

Out at Mr S's house


He's having a fun weekend to visit his friends

"But why does he have to go sooo long??"

Well, his friends live far away. We visit our friends too, right? But our friends live close by so we have short visits. But Daddy's friends live far away so he has to take a longer visit.



Not that I begrudge him the time. I really don't. These are good friends from college, and I love it that we are all still in touch. It's great to have friends that we've known since we first got married. It keeps us grounded. Gives us perspective. And besides, J always comes back feeling bad for having left me over the weekend with the kids all by myself and it's good for a few shopping trips without the kids in the next week or so ;) And oh yeah, he owes me a girly movie, too since I watched this one with him the night before he left. So I've got a girly movie night and at least two trips out without the kids coming to me in the next week. I can handle a day or two with bored kids and a messy house.

Oh yeah, baby!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

*wipes away a tear*

This is it, people. This is why I homebirth. This is why I encourage other people to homebirth. This is why hospital births, no matter how "good", how peaceful, never quite cut it for me. This is why I cringe when people say to me, "But all that matters is a healthy baby, no matter how it gets here." I just don't buy it that the manner in which a child is born, the atmosphere into which he or she emerges into this world has no bearing on their future.

This is where it's at.

HT to Jill.

ps. don't worry, it's not at all graphic or gross

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Aaaand the summer officially begins with our first family trip to...

(all you H-burgers be honest and tell me how long it takes you to figure out where we went :)
















Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tot Talk Tuesdays

Won't you join us? I know you're kids aren't as cute as mine, but they're still pretty cute! Right?? ;) Click on the link above to join!

I can't remember if I posted this story before, but one of my favorite "oops!" moments with a newly talking child was when Sofi was about two. One day in the shoe store, late for naps and reaching the verge of a breakdown, we were trying on some new sandals in an aisle next to a young man and his pregnant wife. As he bent down to help her on with her shoes, he shared with us a little more of his, uh, personality, shall we say? than I might liked to have seen. I turned away, embarrassment for him turning to horror as I glimpsed the look of fascination on Sofi's face as she stared at the chasm revealed to view. I frantically gathered packages, purse, extra shoes and curious toddler into my arms and rushed for the safetly of the next aisle over as I heard her shrill voice pipe out at full, incredulous volume,

"Mama! That man's butt's peekin' out!!"


You can click on the label "Soficisms" in my label cloud to the right there, or subscribe to my blog with the "Follow" button if you want to read more stories of Sofi's adventures in articulation :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Heart Faces: Sepia

Lil is this week's model. She and the boys were playing with the water hose and I just couldn't resist taking about 60-odd shots. Here's my fav of her :) I used CoffeeShop Action Raspberry Tea to convert to this cool pink-tinged sepia. Love it! What's your favorite CoffeeShop Action for Sepia Tones? Oh yeah, then I added a bit of a vingette using my free trail of Alien Skin Bokeh program.


Thanks for stopping by! I love new followers, if you like what you see :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Expirimenting with AV mode

Aren't my poppies lovely this year??



Oh look! More lovelies!


I've figured out that they key to making AV mode work for me is to take every shot about five times with five different settings, just to be sure that one of them will turn out correctly! Trail and error, baby, trial and error.....

btw, J's laptop is not here yet, he's just being gracious to me :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A spectacularly boring post to put you to sleep on a Saturday night, which could be nice, so go ahead, read it...

Notice how my attention has seemed to wander from my dear old blog the last few days? Fear not! I have not forgotten you, gentle readers, nor do I neglect you! It's just that Jeremiah's laptop died and he, laptopless (which sounds slightly risque, but isn't), has commandeered our faithful PC, leaving my with my creakingly archaic (and slooooow) latop and no photo editor. He assures me that his new laptop will arrive safe and sound on Monday and I can have my PC and my Photoshop back. Just in time to do some cool new things with my photos!! Just wait, it's gonna be awwwwwsome!

Cute story:

Judah, while carrying around a play phone, "I gonna call Gwammy. *pause* Gwammy? I gotta booooguh ih my nose!"

See y'all Monday night, if the USPS doesn't fail us!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Land's End is my new BFF

So I posted on Facebook a little while back that I'd bought TWO Land's End bathing suits for $25. They arrived in the mail today.

*we pause momentarily for the joyful pealing of many bells*

... and contrary to the dire warnings of some people, they fit beautifully. And my word, people, when I say beautifully, I mean Beautifully. I think that when I slid into the first suit it shaved fiteen pounds off my hips and thighs. And the second suit took another ten off! This is an exciting trend, let me tell you!

Another thing I love... they feel like real clothes. You know how most bathing suits (ie; from Walmart or Tarjay) make ya feel kinda naked? Like they're see-through or something? Really thin and fragile? No? Just me? Am I the only one who fears that a hydrophobic toddler may be able to actually rend my garments from me while attempting to climb onto my head to get away from the "brrrr, cold, Mommy!!"?? Well then.

But these bathing suits don't feel like that. They feel Quality. Really! No one's paying me to say this. And the colors are so great, too. Vibrant and rich :) Color is important. And comfy, my word, yes! No tugging and slouching, no *ahem* digging around for straps and such-like. They stay put, right where I want them.

And as if that weren't enough! Remember I mentioned that they fit me? I ordered them, sight unseen off the internet, people, and they FIT ME. That has never happened to me before. Never. The reason they fit? These wonderful, wonderful people actually have a hotline to help you measure all the right places so you can get exactly the right inches converted to exactly the right size. And I want you to know that I measured up a perfect size four. What? You don't believe me?? You don't think I'd lie about something like that, do you??

And wait, there's more!!! (*squealing in pure excitement*) I have a coupon code! Whahoo! For free shipping!! Yaaaaay!. Here's the info:

Free shipping on any order.Enter the Promotion Code JUNE9 and pin 00002930

It worked for me :)

Now I've been looking at the kid's swimwear. We spend a lot of time at the pool in the summer so it would be worth it to me to find some nice stuff for Sofi and Judah. I bought mine on deep discount, so I might not be able to afford suits for both of them, but I found a few cute coverups for Sofi (yes, she needs them, trust me) here and here. They're on the Overstocks part of the site, so the prices are good, but the correct size isn't available. :( Too bad.

And just in case any Lands End reps are reading (you know, 'cause my readership is all that and a ball of wax!) if you send me some girl's size 8 or boys 2T swimwear I'll review it! And if you send more than one, I'll do a giveaway!! That's right, if any of you people have any clout over at Lands End, send them my name! And my blog URL :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wait, is that the sun I see over there?

I hesitate to call it, folks, but I do believe a new day may be dawning in the F. house. Can I share with you a wonderful piece of news? This morning, for the fifth morning in a row I awoke to the sound of Judah's cries for Mommy, rolled over to look at the clock and realized to my shock that it was 7:45.

Yes. That's 7:45.

What? you ask, an F. child that sleeps past 6:30?? Is this possible? Apparently so. Who knew? But wait, there's more...

So, now that he's waking up at 7:45 or 8, he doesn't nap till 1 or 1:30. And sometimes naps till three or FOUR O'CLOCK. And what ungodly hour do you think he goes to bed? I'll tell you! Actually... the usual 6:30 to 7. I know, right? Who stole my child and left this sleeping angel in his place?!?

I have to say, it's wreaking all kinds of havoc with my schedule. I really don't know how to handle a day that doesn't begin till 8 am. I'm used to having breakfast cleaned up and being dressed and groomed by then. This morning I didn't shower till 9:30! After I'd been to the gym for an early morning workout! I felt like such a slouch :) It was really lovely :D

So, now that I've gone public with this information, I've probably jinxed it. He'll probably wake up at the crack of dawn tomorrow and that'll be the end of that. But just in case he doesn't... Who knows? If something like this can happen IRL, perhaps the next time I see you I'll have the skin of a ten year old and the body of Angelina Jolie!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Soficism #(something)

Click here to join in

Hooray for Nicey's new meme! I'm reposting from August last year, because I forgot to write anything down that anybody said today or this past week :) Better luck next week. I'm looking forward to meeting lots of fun new bloggy friends. Follow me and I'll follow you! Click on the button in my sidebar....

A friend of ours recently returned from a trip abroad and brought Sofi a coin purse made from a turtle shell. This morning's conversation about said purse:

"That sure is a cool purse Mr Frank bought you..."

"Why do you think so?"

(who said they grow out of the "why" stage? not happening so far. today she asked me why is this the fastest way to Big Lots. well, it just is...)

"Well, (hem, haw, stutter) I just think it's cool that it's made out of a real turtle shell."

"I don't think that's cool."

"Why not?" (payback!)

"Well, if I was a turtle, I would not want to be killed to make into a purse. (long pause) If I was already dead, I don't think I would mind, but I would not want to be killed for it."